The Grant Williams-trained Shining Knight will carry the 59kg top weight in Thursday’s Summer Scorcher 2015 when the last start R.S. Crawford Stakes winner leads out the field in the Perth Cup Day support race.
Jumping at 1:30pm (WA time) as Ascot Race 3, this season’s $100,000 Listed Schweppes Summer Scorcher (1000m) attracted a final field of just seven sprinters.
The state’s premier hoop William Pike, who also rides 2015 Perth Cup favourite Real Love, has the ride on the heaviest weighted runner with six-year-old Blackfriars gelding Shining Knight to jump from barrier four.
The galloper comes off a win over the track and distance, his second from four starts over the 1000m at Ascot, having carried the same weight to a half-length victory over Black Heart Bart in the Listed R.S. Crawford Stakes on December 20.
That continued an ace string of runs this Perth Summer Racing Carnival, his campaign kicking off back on November 4 with a first-up win in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m).
Shining Knight is also Group 1 placed for the summer following a very nice run in the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) when only three quarters of a length away third behind Magnifisio in the November 22 classic making him the likely Summer Scorcher favourite when markets open at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Following Shining Knight in the Summer Scorcher weights with 56.5kg each are then the in-form Vaughn Sigley-trained Black Heart Bart after his third win from four starts and David Harrison’s Pininci drawn in barriers two and three respectively.
Another son of top sire Blackfriars, four-year-old Black Heart Bart won back-to-back races earlier this preparation including the Listed Carbine Club of WA Stakes (1400m) on Winterbottom Stakes Day.
He’s dropped down in distance in his two runs since to win over 1200m at Ascot on December 13 and then run second in the R.S. Crawford in his third run over the 1000m.
Pininci meanwhile has his fourth jockey in as many runs jumping aboard for New Year’s Day with Damian Lane replacing Paul Harvey in the saddle.
A six-year-old son of Pins, the gelding won the Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m) over the short sprint distance at Belmont during the winter and is after his first victory since.
His lead-up form into Thursday has been thereabouts though and includes a fourth to Smoko in August’s Listed Belmont Newmarket (1200m) and a last start fifth in the Thunderbolt 1000 a month ago.
Lark Hill-based Harrison is dually represented in the field having also accepted for another livewire chance in Benito.
Drawn in barrier six with apprentice jockey Renee Forrest retaining her association with the super consistent Due Sasso four-year-old, Benito has won seven of his 14 starts to date for a 50% winning strike rate.
His last two starts have also produced wins over the track and distance including when he beat home a number of these same rivals in the Thunderbolt 1000 on December 6.
Also coming off a crack run of form is then the rails-drawn Cool Trade, the Alan Mathews-trained sprinter to be ridden by Patrick Carbery from barrier one on the 54kg minimum.
Undefeated last campaign winning five straight from March – May, this four-year-old Trade Fair mare is after her first victory of the spring – summer season.
She’s been very competitive leading up to this showdown however including a Listed second to Antique Belle in the Jungle Mist Classic (1200m) after being forced to run wide throughout from her outside barrier 11 of 12 draw from November 22.
After that she went down just a neck to Benito in the Thunderbolt and then was third, beaten one and a quarter lengths, behind Shining Knight in the R.S. Crawford Stakes with 55kg last start.
Rounding out the latest Summer Scorcher line-up are then two returning runners with the Neville Parnham-trained Danehill Express four-year-old Lenience (barrier five) up in class for this and Daniel Morton’s five-year-old mare Soldier’s Lass (barrier seven).
See below for the full Summer Scorcher 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights with markets on all the Perth Cup Day features including the opening black-type at the meeting to open shortly online at our preferred bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au!
2015 Summer Scorcher Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ascot Race 3 (1:30pm local time) – 01/01/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||12223×1341||SHINING KNIGHT||Grant Williams||William Pike||4||59kg|
|2||308×124112||BLACK HEART BART||Vaughn Sigley||Glenn Smith||2||56.5kg|
|3||44912154×5||PININCI||David Harrison||Damian Lane||3||56.5kg|
|4||6114112×11||BENITO||David Harrison||Ms Renee Forrest (a)||6||54.5kg|
|5||11111×4223||COOL TRADE||Alan Mathews||Patrick Carbery||1||54kg|
|6||328x51233x||LENIENCE||Neville Parnham||Brad Parnham||5||54kg|
|7||x113x8715x||SOLDIER’S LASS||Daniel Morton||Shaun O’Donnell||7||54kg|